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YAAAY! I promised to broadcast this piece of news loudly and proudly when I get it so here it is:

My Speech-Language Pathology credentials FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY got approved today! This came 4.5 months after I submitted my application. So I’m ecstatic and SOOOO thankful to God!! For those who do not know, I got my M.A. SLP degree @ San Diego State, but left almost a couple months after graduation to get married in Singapore, and to move to Australia. Because my training was in America, the Australians needed proof that my SLP training was legit and on par with theirs. The wait was frustrating and oftentimes emotionally draining but it’s ALL history now that I got my approval!

What now? This means I can start applying for SLP jobs!!!! It’s been almost eight months since I last did anything SLP related so I’m naturally a little bit nervous about starting up again but better earlier than later, right? I guess I’m gonna get really busy with job applications this week! Thanks also to all of you who have been SO kind and SO supportive over the last few months. Y’all ROCK.

Bry and I are gonna go for a celebration lunch and dinner today. It’s also his birthday week so this piece of news also made for a great (early) birthday gift for him!!!!

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Here are photos from or Thanksgiving dinner last night. For most American families, a Thanksgiving dinner has to be a home-cooked meal, and so we did it too (it also gave me something to occupy my time with). I spent almost 6 hours in the kitchen yesterday preparing every single dish from scratch. I even pureed my own pumpkin for the soup. Whew! A lot of work, but if you’re crazy about being gourmet about food the way I kinda tend to be, it can be very satisfying. Heh.

One dish I would like to highlight is the stuffing. I tried, for the first time, this Wild Rice and Mushroom stuffing recipe from recipezaar.com to go along with the fowl, and my, my, it was beyond delicious and amazing…and I’m not being hyperbolous about it. It made me wonder whey I didn’t just live on stuffing alone. The juices and flavors from the chicken and the stuffing interacted really well, really enhancing each other’s taste. MMmhmm.

I also tried this chicken preparation technique from a Kosher cooking site to get a more even and tender taste throughout the chicken, and would recommend it to anyone roasting a chicken or turkey this Christmas or at anytime: soak the chicken in brine (salt water) for at least an hour, then dry it with a kitchen towel, and leave it in the refrigerator for another hour before marinating it and roasting it.

Needless to say, I was EGGXHAUSTED, very stuffed, and a little uhm…red from all the Lambrusco by the end of the night (I also went for a 5km run and after that did a few more sit ups than I should’ve that morning.). Anyhow, apart from muscle aches from the exercise, I also had body aches from mashing potatoes and from all the arm movements involved in chopping, frying, and carrying stuff. SO…it gave me an excuse to not run this morning. Yay. 😉

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(Apple crisp missing from the picture)

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Stuffed roasted chicken

So many times, we forget to be thankful about things in our lives. We get caught up with trying to solve problems, overcoming challenges, or focusing on the negative. Or think that, in being thankful, we think our lives are awesome and therefore become boastful.

I like to be reminded that thanksgiving breeds humility, not hubris. In being gracious, we recognize that we don’t deserve anything good. Because, really, what have we contributed to the world or the universe that we should enjoy blessings?? Blessings: they’re all bestowed to us by grace from God. Even if you’re not religious, it is by grace, luck, fortuity, some universal force,…maybe karma.

It also breeds humility because we recognize some other person’s involvement in bettering our lives: our parents, husbands, boyfriends, friends, etc., not because they HAVE to but because they WANT to.

Having said all that, gosh, I have SO much to be thankful for this past year and I’d like to share them here:

  • Life!
  • Food on our table everyday
  • My extremely loving family: parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, nieces, in-laws…
  • Bryan 😉
  • Wonderful friends…just awesome, amazing, thoughtful, loving people scattered across various continents and are able to remain connected through the internet
  • (The internet!!!)
  • Good health
  • Graduation from grad school
  • Perfect weather on our wedding day, and a fun and memorable wedding
  • Safe travels (in SoCal/Arizona/Nevada itself, and then from LA to SG to BKK to SG and then to MELB)
  • My parents’ and godmother’s visit to SoCal
  • A pretty smooth settling in into Melbourne for Bryan and I
  • Bryan’s job
  • Religious freedom
  • Security (from war, riots…) and minimal discrimination
  • Our little Melbourne city pad
  • Free time to experiment with new recipes, take Spanish, paint, and try various art and craft projects
  • A part-time telemarketing job to earn just a little bit of shopping money while waiting for my SLP license.
  • And, of course, GOD. FOR HE IS GOOD.

There’s actually so much more to be grateful for but I will stop…hehe. Of course, my life is far from perfect. But I am working at overcoming these imperfections so, there is no need to wallow in them.

Whether or not you celebrate thanksgiving, here’s a question for you: What are YOU thankful for?

(I would also like to remind ourselves to think of the victims in Mumbai…to remember them in our Thanksgiving prayers as this traumatic event is still unfolding.)

I forgot what we were talking about that led Bry to comment (jokingly): Singapore does whatever America does. It is this close to becoming Guam.

But you know what, he’s kinda right!

Speaking of America…I’m now planning tomorrow’s Thanksgiving dinner meal. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite American holidays, which is why I wanna hold on to this tradition even while in Australia! It really promotes graciousness and family bonding…and HOME-COOKED FOOD! Technically, it is today. But because I have Spanish class tonight, we decided to do it tomorrow…which will coincide with the actual Thanksgiving day in the U.S.

Menu:

– Roast chicken (yeah, no turkey for us this year. it is selling for $10/kg – totally insane!!)

– Pumpkin soup

– Mashed potatoes

– String beans fried with shallots and shitake mushrooms (made this for last year’s Thanksgiving…very delicious!)

– Apple crumble pie (yes, gonna try this AGAIN! need to perfect it)

I think that’s enough food for just the two of us. 🙂

Heard this on “The View” today and it is hilarious. Since Thanksgiving is so round the corner, and I wanna post something related to this festive occassion, I decided to share it here. From holytaco.com. Click on it for more details on each category. Totally LOL!

7. THE RELIGIOUS RELATIVE
6. THE PERSON WITH THE SECRET EVERYONE ALREADY KNOWS
5. THE FANTASY FOOTBALL GUY
4. THE NEW BOYFRIEND/GIRLFRIEND THAT WON’T LAST
3. THE OVERLY POLITICAL RELATIVE
2. THE SUPER OLD GRANDPARENT
1. THE RECOVERING ALCOHOLIC

Last year’s Thanksgiving was especially memorable because it was the last time I got to cook a really nice meal for the people who were like my family during my time in San Diego. (Photo is missing my Frenchie Nao, who had to leave early for a dance practice that day…)

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Also, Ellen reminded me that a snapshot of my food apparently appeared on the homepage of Yahoo Singapore (so said my parents and uncle; coz they saw me in one of the pictures and Ellen was also surprised by the large number of views she got on those photos).

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This year’s Thanksgiving is gonna be sooo different. Probably non-existent. :*-/